Disclaimer: This post contains information about Beer. All those offended, get over it and soak up some of the culture already!
Hello world! How’s it going? Same old? That’s not bad. Oh, me? Yeah, well, I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I just went to see one of the coolest, most world renowned festivities ever… that’s right, OKTOBERFEST!
Let me just preface this with “I am not a fan of large groups of people.” I get really nervous when surrounded by too many people. I can handle big cities and bustling people, but for some reason or another, when I go to an event where everyone is simply clustered around each other and bumbling like a babbling idiot, I lose it. I get nervous, panic, need to leave, and push my way through the crowd like a knife glides through butter.
That being said, Oktoberfest is the place to end all places for mass herds of people who simply bumble and babble, but it was amazing. It didn’t bother me one bit. I could casually walk through the fair grounds without fears. I don’t know why; perhaps it had to do with the atmosphere, and by that I mean, perhaps it had to do with the fact that everyone was tipsy by 11 a.m. and was ready to ride the day out getting progressively more intoxicated. Perhaps it was that everyone there was jollity and comfortable. Perhaps it was the lederhosen and dirndls? I really don’t know, but what I do know is that everyone should experience this phenomena.
Whether or not you make it to the fairgrounds of Oktoberfest or not, the atmosphere throughout all of Munich is live and well with the spirit of expensive alcohol and happiness. Everywhere you looked, someone had a liter of beer in there hand. People walked up and down the streets of Munich in their lederhosen and dirndls all week long. People casually walk the streets with beer bottles in their hands, drinking as they perform their daily tasks. Astonishing. People not-so-casually got onto the subways and danced and screamed and jumped and “rocked the boat” so to say. EVERYWHERE the spirit is raging on.
Fun Cultural Fact: Bayern, for many northern Germans, is the reject state… maybe that’s a bit harsh, but it can be compared to the U.S.A. divide between north and south, where the yankees and the hicks all have something to say about each other. Bayer, from and American’s perspective, is filled with much nicer folks and contains all those purty castles. In reality, for an American studying German, it is unbelievably hard to talk. “Bayrisch” as it is called, is the southern German dialect and it is hard to speak. Just look at the differences in the spelling and imagine trying to say them differently with different accents. Hochdeutsch (standard German): Ich mag dich. (I like you). Bayrisch (southern German dialect): I mog di[k]. (I like you). Impossible.
Anyway, now I must be off for my vacation, where I will head in the opposite direction (to the north) to see the Baltic Sea, and spend my time on the beach in 50 degree weather. It will be gorgeous: dark, cold, gray, bleak, all that entails in stereotypical Germany (Joke). But seriously, I’m looking forward to it. Plus, I will be completely alone… I could use some alone time and I’m interested to challenge myself to figure things out on my own. This shall be interesting. Stay tuned!